Eoghan Dalton Reports
A proposal to build a road connecting an estate on the outskirts of Tramore with the town has been approved by councillors. Waterford City and County Council proposes to construct a new surface, 3m in width, to serve both pedestrians and cyclists on the Knockanduff Road.The road has seen a hugely increased amount of traffic in recent times with no provisions for cyclists or pedestrians
This new footway will serve the new residential development of Cluain Lárach Knockanduff up as far as the Coast Road (R675). It will be illuminated with new public street lighting and is designed to provide safer passage for pedestrians and cyclists.
The existing ditch on either side of the L4059 Knockanduff Road will need to be removed to allow construction. It is proposed to replace the existing ditch outside Parklands with a new concrete block wall measuring 1.2m in height and capped. Mature trees within Parklands will be avoided and saved where possible. The road ditch on the Ballycarnane Woods side will also have to be removed to enable the 6m wide roadway together with the provision of a road drain/ French Drain to accommodate existing surface water outfalls from the Ballycaranane Woods estate. Existing mature trees on the Ballycarnane Woods estate side will be avoided and saved where possible, according to the council.
A replacement timber fence 1.2 m high will be erected together with hedging, to be agreed with residents. The area of existing hedgerow removed shall be replanted on estate lands or Council owned lands to lessen the environmental impact of planned works.A new controlled pedestrian crossing will be provided across the Coast Road. The Junction between the L4059 and R675 will have footpath widening works completed to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians.148 submissions in total were made in support of the proposed works with 19 against. 11 observations were also received by the council.
Aspects of the development were singled out for approval by many present at the council’s July Metropolitan District meeting, however Cllr Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Green) found himself reluctantly welcoming the development.
“I have reservations about the design as it exists,” he told the Munster Express. “It involves removing a huge amount of hedgerow. I understand that there are a certain amount of restrictions in the built environment and not everything can be done with a certain amount of road space, but I have reservations about shared use of the footpath as a bike lane.”“I think when you put cyclists and pedestrians into conflict it’s a recipe for disaster,” he added.He said it was important to be able to see the city and county’s from the viewpoint of a bus passenger, a pedestrian, a cyclist, as well as a motorist.
This also includes seeing Waterford’s roads from the eye of a child, Cllr Ó Cathasaigh said. Outlining the need to make housing estates easier to navigate for children, he said: “If a child in the back of Cluain Lárach wants to go visit their friend in Clarinwood, they [shouldn’t] need to make a three kilometre round trip around the roads.”He summed this up as “childhood independent mobility”, which looks at how kids move around and access their neighbourhood. “At the moment we’re locked into a very car-centric style of thinking. You use your car – it’s your default setting – but of course children don’t have access to a car without a driver.
“It’s about finding the places that kids want to go, mapping out your town or your city from a kid’s perspective to make their journeys even easier and safer so they can make them independently and so they don’t have to call on their taxi-driver dad.”